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Q: Key won't turn after installing new ignition cylinder and ignition lock. Need help polishing things off.

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I installed a brand new ignition cylinder and ignition lock. Before installing and while the battery was disconnected, the key turned fine though stiff (I'm using my original key rather than the blanks as advised). Everything seemed/seems fine.

I connected the battery and turned the key forward and back to see how it felt. When I went all the way back, it locked and won't budge any more. The steering wheel is also locked, so I tried turning it while turning the key with no luck. I tried tapping the cylinder, putting it into neutral, and tried the blank keys that came with the cylinder. I'm not sure what else to do.

There is power in the car, 1 month old battery with a new ground cable and inserting the key causes the car to "ding ding ding"... nothing else works. That's where I'm at.

I'm also a tad confused about what to do about the keys. I was told to just use my old keys by 1 mechanic and 1 said use the tumblers from my old cylinder, and more conflicting info.

My car has 214000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there:

This problem tends to occur when an aftermarket ignition cylinder is used for the replacement project. The inner lock housing sometimes doesn’t always fit flush to OEM steering columns, which can create the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Here are the directions on how to replace an ignition cylinder article, you should check out. The best option is to remove the old one, and start from scratch. Verify that you’re using an OEM replacement cylinder; as aftermarket parts typically cause more hassle than help in this case.

If you need assistance with fixing this issue, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home to diagnose the issue with your key firsthand for an accurate repair.

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